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Are We Treating Development Milestones As Another Rat Race?
Milestones of development are the stages in the growth and development of a child. By a certain age, a baby is supposed to sit, crawl, stand, walk, and talk. Each of these stages is a developmental milestone and are indicators of good health and growth of a child. Hence, this forms a part of a child’s medical record and is monitored by the doctor/healthcare professional.
When a child attains these significant milestones, the parents are undoubtedly elated. There is nothing more exciting than seeing your little one crawl, walk, or talk. My daughter started walking when she turned ten months old. Now, she is a year old, and I am secretly and eagerly waiting to hear her first words, but I am in no rush. I am taking it all slowly. Of course, I am reading about how to encourage my child to speak, but I am not paranoid about it. Nevertheless, the advice in different forms has already started pouring in. “Keep talking with her, she will pick up words,” “If she says a word, you should add another,” “Is your daughter getting delayed on this?” “My baby started taking when she was eleven months old,” “You have to be conscious enough, you know, you cannot ignore this milestone.”
I am sure new parents have to hear similar remarks sometime or the other on their child’s milestones. People can never cease to be themselves as always, either finding fault with you, your parenting style, or your child. Sometimes, it might be about your baby crawling, standing, teething, talking, or later on, they might also judge your child’s academic performance even in primary school. You can choose to take a stand and tell them that as a parent, it is your concern and not anyone else’s. Also, you can ignore such remarks as unimportant opinions.
What such people need to understand is that each child is different, each child takes its time for a milestone, and healthcare professionals strictly advise against enforcing any milestone on a child. Also, it is important to understand that being aware of a child’s milestone is a parent’s concern and not a topic for a tea party discussion.
Achieving milestones is definitely important, but it should not be converted into a rat race for a little one. Competition and comparison at this stage are unnecessary and unhealthy. Each child is unique and deserves time, affection, and space for growth and development.
Let’s raise happy children! Let’s make growing up a happy experience for them!